Dj'ing with Ableton....

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
JuanSOLO
Posts: 3236
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:21 am
Location: Shreveport LA, sometimes Dallas/Ft Worth TX

Re: Dj'ing with Ableton....

Post by JuanSOLO » Mon Nov 01, 2010 6:23 pm

WORD!

tomf
Posts: 236
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:02 pm

Re: Dj'ing with Ableton....

Post by tomf » Mon Nov 01, 2010 7:12 pm

I agree, far too many people forget that it is THE SONG that people want to hear, not some guy de-constructing that song and putting 20 effects over it and destroying how the song was originally meant to be heard. I think effects are good as long as they are used well and not over done all the time.

toady
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 3:28 am

Re: Dj'ing with Ableton....

Post by toady » Mon Nov 01, 2010 7:58 pm

I tried djing out with Ableton it is not easy. I used to use Serato but wanted to free myself of being dependant on turntables. Also a lot of times I would dj out with Serato there's would be some connection problem with wires and I had to set it up myself which would take time.

The problem I have with Ableton is not being able to view the 2 waveforms at the same time. Also hitting play on the 2nd track doesn't always seem consistent since Ableton seems to wait for the end of the 4 count before playing it, and sometimes it lags. So I would say getting the timing down is something I have to work on.

My other problem is loading many songs on Ableton. It's really time consuming to convert an mp3 to aiff and then load it into Ableton compared to Serato when you just click and drag. So say you were playing live and someone wanted to hear xxxx you didn't have it set up yet, you would have to convert it to aiff first, then load it into ableton, then set your warp markers etc. Serato takes 1 second to load a new song from your computer. How many songs are you ableton djs loading up in your sets? I like Ableton because I use it as my main production tool, but not feeling it yet as far as djing live. I'll have to check out albetonlivedj site Tarekith mentioned.

Sage
Posts: 1102
Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:16 pm
Location: London
Contact:

Re: Dj'ing with Ableton....

Post by Sage » Mon Nov 01, 2010 10:22 pm

toady wrote:My other problem is loading many songs on Ableton. It's really time consuming to convert an mp3 to aiff and then load it into Ableton compared to Serato when you just click and drag. So say you were playing live and someone wanted to hear xxxx you didn't have it set up yet, you would have to convert it to aiff first, then load it into ableton, then set your warp markers etc. Serato takes 1 second to load a new song from your computer. How many songs are you ableton djs loading up in your sets? I like Ableton because I use it as my main production tool, but not feeling it yet as far as djing live. I'll have to check out albetonlivedj site Tarekith mentioned.
You don't need to convert mp3s to aiff/wav in Live, it does that for you!

Or are you using a demo version?


And how long it takes to warp depends on the type of music it is, modern dance music you pretty much can load it in, tell it where to start from within about 30secs.

Other software dedicated to DJ'ing is better for it, but that just sounds like you don't know how to use Ableton rather than flaws with the software.

toady
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 3:28 am

Re: Dj'ing with Ableton....

Post by toady » Mon Nov 01, 2010 10:39 pm

Sage wrote:You don't need to convert mp3s to aiff/wav in Live, it does that for you!

Or are you using a demo version?

And how long it takes to warp depends on the type of music it is, modern dance music you pretty much can load it in, tell it where to start from within about 30secs.

Other software dedicated to DJ'ing is better for it, but that just sounds like you don't know how to use Ableton rather than flaws with the software.
Ok I didn't realize that about the mp3 conversion. I think I tried it before and it didn't work so I thought otherwise. Good to know lol. I've actually used Ableton for quite awhile, but just recently started to use it as a live tool over Serato. The conversion is <1 second when loading a new song to Serato which I like. I think it's just getting used to not looking at 2 waveforms that's going to take me awhile. I might check out traktor if it's more seamless.

OBD
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:20 am

Re: Dj'ing with Ableton....

Post by OBD » Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:38 am

New to the forums, but here is my 20c's:

You were saying that you dont want to totaly deconstruct songs, but just add elements etc to them (loop certain phrases etc). Then I would say to you live is exactly what you need. It all depends on how you set up your live set.

I dj, house/4-beat music myself. My live set consists of 2 channels each containing "whole"/original songs, which i cross fade between (emulating a traditional dj setup, much like traktor). I pre-listen and set loops etc with these tracks.

From there I have another channel, controlling my monomulator (step seq/beat juggle) vst, which is quiet simply epic.

Another channel containing one shots/random sound samples from 1940's radio ads etc... basically anything I want.

Another channel, which takes input from my kaosspad or microkorg or both (depending how much gear i wanna rock around with).

And Final channel with a vst instrament (used mainly for dubstep wobble stuff).

All this is controlled by a single APC40 (using some non-conventional mappings to be fair). And a Lucifer vst on the master channel for good measure! haha

It just seamed that the way i do things is similar to what you were describing. Hope this inspires you to jump ship?

Cheers

darkmelody
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:59 am

Re: Dj'ing with Ableton....

Post by darkmelody » Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:32 am

toady wrote:Also hitting play on the 2nd track doesn't always seem consistent since Ableton seems to wait for the end of the 4 count before playing it, .
Change your global quantise setting.

It's the box at the top which would say "1 bar" going by what you're describing.
(Not at home so can't provide a screenshot).

If you change it to 1/4 notes it will start on the beat.

I agree with the "not being able to see the two waveforms at the same time" thing.

tomf
Posts: 236
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:02 pm

Re: Dj'ing with Ableton....

Post by tomf » Tue Nov 02, 2010 8:30 am

Yea it's all very interesting, thanks for the info guys! Really appreciated.

102455
Posts: 1631
Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:41 pm
Location: Location: Location:
Contact:

Re: Dj'ing with Ableton....

Post by 102455 » Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:07 am

It would have been cool for Ableton to produce a specific DJ version of Live, with a more 'traditional' feature set and layout...

Call it Ableton Live DJ Edition or something.

Unlikely to happen now though I guess, because of the whole Bridge thing.

pureleton
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:56 pm

Re: Dj'ing with Ableton....

Post by pureleton » Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:05 pm

102455 wrote:It would have been cool for Ableton to produce a specific DJ version of Live, with a more 'traditional' feature set and layout...

Call it Ableton Live DJ Edition or something.

Unlikely to happen now though I guess, because of the whole Bridge thing.

Yes, i was thinking about the same! Or Live Live basic. Basic but at least stable.

I've just made upgrade from 8.0.8 to 8.2 and i experienced audio glitches in every 5 minutes. Now i've just wanted to downgrade back to 8.0.8 and CAN NOT open the files saved in 8.2!! Givin me lot of trouble.

toady
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 3:28 am

Re: Dj'ing with Ableton....

Post by toady » Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:40 pm

darkmelody wrote:Change your global quantise setting.

It's the box at the top which would say "1 bar" going by what you're describing.
(Not at home so can't provide a screenshot).

If you change it to 1/4 notes it will start on the beat.

I agree with the "not being able to see the two waveforms at the same time" thing.
Cool, thanks for the tip!

Khazul
Posts: 3185
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 5:19 pm
Location: Reading, UK

Re: Dj'ing with Ableton....

Post by Khazul » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:15 am

Like other have said - DJing with live isnt like Djing.

As a comparison with traktor, imagine if you absolutely HAD to beatgrid everything offline beforehand, imagine there is no option to drag a track in and beat match on the fly without some significant messing about that absolutely has to be done off-air as the messing about causes sample jumps (ie glitches). Like tracktor once you have warped a track in live, then thats like saving the beatgrid in traktor, so you can just drag that clip back in and its job done - ie great for live use - *if* you have prepared.

Live is very good at finding tempo, beat etc, unfortunately it seems to be completely stupid about settings the clip start in the right place (ok tracktor aint much better either, but at least when you hit syync - it syncs within a beat - most of the time).

If you tend to just like to have a bunch of unprepared mp3s and and just work with them on the fly - Live isnt really like that - at least not in a guranteed way. At least with tracktor when it gets it wrong, you just nudge it yourself - no big deal. To that ends, I actually much prefer the flexibility of working with tracktor live - as for extra loops and samples etc - thats what I use the other two decks for (2 decks for playing, 2 decks for random shit or extra mashup layers etc) and nearly allways unprepared material (ie non-beatgridded). About the only exceptions for me are very short intro that need to be hard in and in dropped in-sync and where for the life of mye I can never manually sync tracktor fast enough (even if I can do so with a CD deck).

Depends how you work - live demands a particular way of working - if your happy with that and happy to pre-prepare every track you might play - then its excellent, but alot of up-front work. Even my own material I tend to prefer to play with tracktor - its just far less hassle and just feels so much more free.

Perhaps Im just lazy and too rooted in vinyl/cd approach to DJing, but I do like the help that tracktor gives for on the fly perfect looping (damned if i could ever get a perfect loop on the fly out of a CDJ - Kaoss pad yes, but CDJ - never!), allways synced fx etc (vs Cds etc) without having to prep in the way you have to for Live. Of course once prepared, then Live is a dream to play with, so long as when you suddenly have a random cool idea in the middle of a set, you have that bit of material pre-warped and good to go (which means it probbaly aint so random :p)

As another thing - I was never into random trashing tracks as tends to be the norm with many laptop DJs especialy the butchers shop jobs Ive heard out of ableton live - just cos you can do it - doesnt mean you should :p
Nothing to see here - move along!

toady
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 3:28 am

Re: Dj'ing with Ableton....

Post by toady » Wed Nov 03, 2010 8:55 am

Khazul wrote:Like other have said - DJing with live isnt like Djing.

As a comparison with traktor, imagine if you absolutely HAD to beatgrid everything offline beforehand, imagine there is no option to drag a track in and beat match on the fly without some significant messing about that absolutely has to be done off-air as the messing about causes sample jumps (ie glitches). Like tracktor once you have warped a track in live, then thats like saving the beatgrid in traktor, so you can just drag that clip back in and its job done - ie great for live use - *if* you have prepared.
I'm just wanted to clarify what you wrote. Are you saying with Traktor you don't have to beatgrid everything before hand, and you can beat match on the fly much quicker than with Ableton?

The one major appeal to me about djing with Ableton is that it frees me from the turntables. Can you dj in Traktor just using an "internal mode" like Serato, and if so, does it still have to be connected to the Traktor box, or can you use any external soundcard like audio kontrol 1?

tomf
Posts: 236
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:02 pm

Re: Dj'ing with Ableton....

Post by tomf » Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:08 am

Yes you can mix internally with traktor pro, you can also use any soundcard you want to and yes you can jump right in and beat match on the fly. No pre warping or anything needed, traktor uses beatgrids for it to 'sync' tracks up. Very straight forward.

Khazul
Posts: 3185
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 5:19 pm
Location: Reading, UK

Re: Dj'ing with Ableton....

Post by Khazul » Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:42 am

I'm just wanted to clarify what you wrote. Are you saying with Traktor you don't have to beatgrid everything before hand, and you can beat match on the fly much quicker than with Ableton?

The one major appeal to me about djing with Ableton is that it frees me from the turntables. Can you dj in Traktor just using an "internal mode" like Serato, and if so, does it still have to be connected to the Traktor box, or can you use any external soundcard like audio kontrol 1?
Yes - the minimal prep for traktor is simply make it aware of your MP3 folders so it can index the files for its file browser and do its analysis of tempo. However if you really want, you can also just drag a random mp3 file (for eg off a USB stick, mp3 CD or whatever - some producer mate throws something at you when you're doing an open set for eg) onto a tracktor deck and it will analyse it there and then (takes only a few seconds) and you can play it straight away and beatmatch it yourself manually (though even then because by then its analysed it, you can still be usually be lazy and set sync mode and hit play...).

Contrast with ableton - yes you can drag an mp3 in on they fly too, ableton will analyse it, but now you have to line up the start point by dragging it with the mouse, check it warped ok at least at the start and the end (for mixin, mixout) and a few spot checks for craziness in the middle and finally then start sorting out the start point - sometimes very easy, sometimes a right pain.

Note aligning the start point on the fly is something that *might* be easier with a max for live patch and a suitable controller - not looked into it, but even then - you absolutely would not want to be beatmatching an audiable track in live.

Actually some kind of redimentry support for using a DJ controller platter to on-the-fly sync (and even beatmatch) a playing clip would be a real killer feature for Live V9 IMHO as this is the one thing that really divides use of serato/tracktor from Live and TBH is why I prefer traktor. Everything else I can do on the fly in tracktor, I can do in Live too and live is way way more powerful (for eg other folks stuff as long clips, your own stuff as multi-stem loops that you can freestyle a bit - 4 decks of tracktor doesnt quite give your that freedom, but are perfectly fine for layering extra beat loops over something to make it fit the context just right.
Nothing to see here - move along!

Post Reply